The Green Bay Packers have been waiting for months to have their full team completely healthy. The unfortunate thing is that much of this waiting took place during the offseason and preseason. Indeed, there have been many players whose health status have been up in the air throughout the course of the year.
Unfortunately, one of these players, David Bakhtiari, will be out for the remainder of the year as his knee has required two further surgeries to correct a cartilage issue. That has been the worst injury news that Green Bay has received this year.
One great piece of news, however, involves edge rusher Rashan Gary. The former first round pick tore his ACL in Week Nine last season. While he has played in every game this season, the number of snaps he has been allowed to play have been limited.
According to the Packers’ latest injury report, that could change on Monday night.
The Green Bay Packers Injury Report Does Not Include Rashan Gary
There are several players listed on the latest Packers’ injury report. Some are questionable, others are out, and others are definitely going to play:
- Jaire Alexander (back): questionable
- Zayne Anderson (hamstring): out
- De’Vondre Campbell (ankle): out
- Rudy Ford (oblique): questionable
- Elgton Jenkins (knee): no designation
- Aaron Jones (hamstring): questionable
- Luke Musgrave (concussion): no designation
- Jon Runyan Jr. (groin/ankle): no designation
- Eric Stokes (foot): questionable
- Zach Tom (knee): no designation
- Carrington Valentine (biceps): no designation
- Christian Watson (hamstring): no designation
There is a great deal of good news on this report. Watson is definitely going to play, Stokes is close to returning, and Jenkins just might be the real-life Wolverine.
Notice there is a name missing: Gary’s. That is because for the first time since he tore his ACL last year, there is no need for him to be on the injury report.
The Green Bay Packers Should Unleash Rashan Gary
As mentioned, Gary has played in every game this season; however, he has been limited with how many snaps he has been allowed to play in each game:
- Week One: 12 snaps
- Week Two: 22 snaps
- Week Three: 23 snaps
- Week Four: 20 snaps
Now that Gary is no longer on the injury report, this should indicate that he will start playing on the field more. This is certainly a boost to the Packers’ defense. In Week Three, against the New Orleans Saints, Gary had three sacks while playing just 38% of the defensive players.
Despite playing less than 30% of the defensive snaps so far this season, Gary leads the team in sacks with 3.5. He is also the Packers’ highest graded defensive player per PFF with an overall defense grade of 85.3. The next closest player is Rasul Douglas with a grade of 74.9.
In other words, having Gary on the field more will be an absolute gamechanger for the defense.
Green Bay Packers Matt LaFleur Will Not Commit to Rashan Gary Playing as Much as He May Want to
Earlier today, Tom Silverstein of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Matt LaFleur is encouraged by Gary’s progress, but will not divert from their initial plan of gradually bringing him back into his full workload:
LaFleur said they are getting closer to playing OLB Rashan Gary a higher volume of snaps, but he said the plan was to gradually get him in football shape and they want to rotate others in. But he didn’t deny Gary’s impact and said the goal is to get him back to full contribution.
— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) October 7, 2023
As mentioned, however, this is the first week that Gary is not on the injury report in any fashion. While LaFleur may be hesitant to play him as much as he may want, his absence on the report indicates that he should see more snaps against the Raiders than he did against any opponent in previous weeks.